Sunday, February 3, 2019

Early Imperial French Line Infantry - The Grenadiers


In the Fall of 2016, I painted up 4 units of Old Glory French infantry in Bicorne, Campaign Dress. I did not have the figures for the compangnies d' elite at the time. I finally ordered them from Old Glory about a year ago, but it is only now that they are parading off the painting table. 


I have a particular fondness for this version of the Grenadier companies of the line infantry; my original French Napoleonic army, using 25 mm Scruby figures, had all of the line Grenadiers in bearskins with red cords like those above.  


 Evidently, to have your regiment's Grenadiers equipped with bearskins, all the Colonel had to do was request them from the 1st Consul (later Emperor ) Napoleon. Some Grenadier bearskins seem to have persisted through about 1809.


The back of the bearskin has  a fabric patch on it, which the French jokingly called the cul de singe (Monkey's butt). These Old Glory figures have the grenade sculpted on, but a white cross on red, or even quartered blue and red with a white cross overlying, are known variants as well. 


The varied pants are to match those of the Regiments that they will be joining.  I have used orange highlighting on the epaulets, cords and plumes to bring out some of the details. 

22 comments:

  1. Excellent work on your grenadiers, Peter!

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  2. the white grenade only on the bearskin of impƩrial guard's units, and white cross on other grenadier units of the line.

    french follower

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  3. Very nice work, Peter. Love the striped trousers too!

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    1. Thank you Dean. I had to do at least ONE unit with the striped trousers!

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  4. The striped trousers are really a hangover from the Revolutionary period. The 1804 Reglement required white breeches and above the knee black leggings. It was quite common for the Grenadiers to be used as converged battalions even into 1807.

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    1. Yes, indeed they *are* a hangover from the Republican era, which is why there will be but a single unit of them in my army. Presumably their colonel was a staunch Republican and held onto the older style a bit longer than the rest of the army! Still, a bit too iconic for me not top have ONE of my Line units in bicorne so attired! These fellows are in "Campaign"m dress", hence the long trousers without the gaiters, like the already-painted Fusilier companies they will be joining.

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    2. Well, I think the occasional striped trouser adds interest!

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    3. Exactly, Jon, although in my usual "toy soldier" uniformity style, in this case it will a full unit of stripers!

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  5. I remember your old French. Nice to see these grenadiers ready for the table.

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    1. yes, indeed, I brought a fair amount of them with me to UConn in 1973-1974; two of my 18-figure battalions made on 36 figure CLS battalion!
      I had 30 battalions of them back then; with these troops my French Ligne will Finally exceed the numbers I had back then!

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  6. Nice job Peter! Braver than me, stripey trousers were a thing, but after Hungarians I'll avoid them whenever possible! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Mark. I rather enjoy painting the Hungarian trousers myself, though!

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  7. Great work, and I much prefer the bearskin whenever possible. I can imagine they would have been looking fairly ratty by 1809.

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    1. Thank you, Lawrence. Yes. I would think that any surviving bearskins would be rather worn by then!

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  8. Great looking grenadiers! I do like the bearskin!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks, Iain; no doubt the Bearskins make them look special!

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  9. Agreed, the bearskins really make the Grenadiers look the part. Nicely executed Peter. The striped pants turned out quite well.

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    1. Thanks, Jake! In was happy with how they turned out as well.

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